Westmead Government hospital, The 5

Further to this post, it’s clear from the media reports, (where would we be without the media organisations and their journalist and reporters?) that during the 48 hours in which a 27 year old male patient, patient XXX, was in the Westmead Government hospital, there was not one doctor in the whole hospital capable of coming up with a clear diagnosis of what his problems were, and without a clear diagnosis, there was complete and utter confusion as to who was best to treat him, that’s if there was anyone capable of treating him properly, and so he just died.

You would think that, firstly, there would be doctors, in a hospital as large as the Westmead Government hospital, who specialised in diagnosis, and who worked in this field on a full time basis, calling, where necessary, on the expertise of others who could be contacted over the internet. But this appears not to have been the case – the patient was dead, and a clear diagnosis was still not available!!!!!

The story so far is bad enough, but there are further aspects of it that make it a hundred times worse!

(1) It is agreed that patient XXX died of issues related to cystic fibrosis, and patient XXX was a doctor who had had cystic fibrosis since birth, who probably would have known as much about cystic fibrosis as anyone in Australia – you would think that at least when he was first admitted to the hospital, he probably said to those around him, “Look guys, my illness would be related to cystic fibrosis.” But if he did, what he had to say was clearly ignored.

(2) He admitted himself into the Westmead hospital because he believed that it was a hospital that specialised in helping patients with cystic fibrosis – in other words that if he went to any other hospitals they would be worse.

(3) You would think that he himself would have consulted cystic fibrosis specialists all round the world, and would have said to those around him, “Guys, if you’re not sure of anything to do with my illness talk to these people,” and that again, if this happened, what he said was ignored.

In other words, this story is unbelievably atrocious!!!!!!!

Those of us who have been associated with the legal world, and at least one of us has been for more than 50 years, would be familiar with the fact that solicitors, when they need assistance with something, brief a barrister to provide an opinion. With modern communication technology, 48 hours would have been plenty of time for opinions to be got from the best cystic fibrosis specialists in the world, to help save patient XXX’s life. But with the Westmead hospital, it’s clear that not only was/is their doctors’ knowledge of cystic fibrosis quite amateurish – it seems there’s no system in place for getting opinions from those who might know more.

We are always wondering why?

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